MTN signs global deal as first African FIFA World Cup Sponsor until 2010
With the 2006 tournament in Germany just completed, the focus of the football world has now shifted to Africa and its economy for the next four-year cycle which will culminate in the first FIFA World Cup™ on African soil in South Africa. As FIFA embarks on this new era, the world governing body of football is proud to announce that for the first time, an African company - MTN Group Limited - has signed up as a FIFA World Cup Sponsor. This historic agreement awards MTN global rights to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ as well as to the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. The new partnership, sealed by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and MTN Group President and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko at a private signing ceremony, underlines the commitment of both entities to empower Africa through football.
"We are proud that MTN has chosen FIFA for this landmark commitment which creates a true partnership with many opportunities for both of us. Telecommunications play a key role in uniting people and we are convinced that we have found a highly dedicated partner in Africa and the Middle East's leading mobile telecommunications group, which is also the keenest supporter of African football on the continent," said FIFA President Blatter.
"The FIFA World Cup™ has a spectacular reach around the world through the universal language of football and it is this unique attribute that convinced us to commit to this global sponsorship deal. This is an ideal opportunity for us to leverage the powerful assets of MTN to a global audience and to show that the time for Africa has come. It means a lot to us to be part of this unique global movement," said MTN Group President and CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko.
MTN will operate in the product area of mobile telecommunication services which spans all key technologies in the mobile sector, including services to media and FIFA as well as to the Organising Committee. In addition to the standard global marketing rights (exclusive commercial use of the Official Marks of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009), MTN has acquired significant mobile content rights for a defined set of territories mainly in Africa and the Middle East, including features such as video highlights of all matches played during these two tournaments in South Africa in 2009 and 2010.
MTN is the third company after Anheuser-Busch and McDonald's to join the proposed six-member group of FIFA World Cup Sponsors under FIFA's new commercial hierarchy. (Amended 14.12.2006)